TRENTON, N.J. — On Monday, rain washed away the first game of the Sea Dogs’ series against the Trenton Thunder. One day later, the forecast called for starting pitcher Mike McCarthy to try to weather some early storms.
Making his first appearance of the season, the 23-year-old right-hander was tagged for seven runs in the first three innings, including a long home run by Thunder second baseman Rob Refsnyder, in a 10-1 loss at Arm & Hammer Park.
“I didn’t execute very well at all,” McCarthy said. “I left some pitches up in the zone, and they capitalized on it. You tip your cap and say they beat you…that clearly was not an acceptable outing, and it’s something that’ll get turned around next week.”
Played on a brisk night in front of a sparse crowd, the game got away from McCarthy and Portland quickly. After Thunder starter Matt Tracy worked around a leadoff walk to Mookie Betts in the top of the first, Trenton struck in their half of the inning. A leadoff double by Mason Williams and a one-out single by Rob Segedin, which hit McCarthy in the shins and trickled away, set the stage for a four-run first inning.
McCarthy then surrendered a run-scoring single to prized Yankees catching prospect Gary Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to Tyler Austin that scored Segedin to give Trenton a 2-0 advantage. But the big blow came on the second pitch of the at-bat against Refsnyder, who stroked a 1-0 pitch deep to left field to put Portland in a 4-0 hole.
“They jumped out to that four-run lead in the first, so we were behind early and we were never able to get anything going,” said Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon, whose team has lost three straight after opening the season with two wins. “We did have some good at-bats, and we hit some balls hard, but right at guys. We just weren’t fortunate enough to find any holes today.”
Trenton tacked on two runs in the second on RBI singles by Segedin and Sanchez, and added another in the third on a run-scoring double by Ali Castillo, last year’s Eastern League postseason MVP.
McCarthy, who was 1-3 with a 6.03 ERA in 10 starts with Portland in the second half of last year, gutted through four innings. He allowed seven runs on 11 hits and struck out four.
Catcher Blake Swihart’s RBI single in the sixth inning both broke up Tracy’s shutout and knocked him out of the game. But Trenton’s bullpen shut the door after that, while Portland’s wasn’t as lucky. Yeral Sanchez, Segedin and Gary Sanchez each drove in runs against reliever Nate Reed.
“(McCarthy) made some good pitches that they got lucky on and just got some little bloopers, and then he made some bad pitches and they capitalized on his mistakes,” Swihart said.